ODM chief Raila Odinga starts Coastal tour with call to the region/s leaders to embrace unity

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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,2ND MARCH,2021-ODM leader Raila Odinga has begun a three day tour of the coast urging leaders to embrace unity. Odinga has  told off a section of coastal leaders who are agitating for the region to chart its own path with a regional party terming it a threat to national unity.

He said the leaders should only concentrate on revamping the regional economic bloc that will benefit all residents and not a regional pact.

“All other regions have regrouped to build their regional economies, leaders here should also emulate the same because Pwani (Coast) is part of Kenya,” the opposition leader told journalists during an interview in Voi on Tuesday.

A section of ODM allied lawmakers and governors are pushing for the formation of a regional political party.

The leaders, led by Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi and an ODM stalwart, said that that time was ripe for the region to drift from the orange party and take part in national politics.

Raila further cautioned leaders against misusing the country’s multi-party democracy to create ethnic political parties.

He said those pushing for the regional party are violating the Constitution.

“We want to have national political parties because regional and county parties will only divide the country. It is against the Constitution to form a trial party and I advise the coastal community to remain in national parties,” he added.

The AU High Representative for Infrastructure Development is on a five-day tour of the Coast region to popularise BBI ahead of the referendum after the six coastal assemblies passed the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

He is also focusing to dissuade his allies from forming a regional party that would all but signal a massive loss of ground for the Orange team.

Sources indicate that already  the ODM boss has successfully lured Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho to remain in the party as he courts for more lieutenants.

Joho, an ODM Party Leader has declared his interest to contest for the ODM presidential party ticket.

Asked about Joho’s candidature, Raila said it was his democratic right to vie for the country’s top seat and that he (Joho) shall be subjected to party election.

“Just like any other position, Joho can vie for the presidency on an ODM ticket. A democratic system shall be used to vote for a flag bearer. My other deputy and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya also wants to vie on ODM,” Raila said.

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